Last week, we explored Amy Dao’s recommendations for places to eat in Đà Nẵng. This week we will introduce places where the locals hang out and the must see sights of the beautiful city.
Linh Ung Pagoda
(In But Beach, Son Tra Peninsula, Danang)
From the city center, tourists can cross the Han River Bridge and then turn left. The pagoda is approximately 10km to the northeast. The pagoda is located 700 meters high up in a hill facing to the sea with its back to the mountain. This pagoda offers sweeping views of Đà Nẵng city and the bay.
The pagoda is a combination of modern and traditional architectural styles. The most striking feature is its majestic 67-metre-tall Goddess of Mercy Statue standing on a lotus-shaped platform, which is considered the highest in Viet Nam. Inside the statue, which is equivalent to a 30-story building, there are 17 levels, allowing visitors to admire the view from different heights.
This pagoda is best visited once during the day and again at night to see the gorgeous nightscape. This is one of my favorite places in the city and it is so peaceful at night.
Marble Mountain is a cluster of five marble and limestone hills located in Ngu Hanh Son ward, south of Đà Nẵng. The five ‘mountains’ are named after the five elements; Kim (metal), Thuy (water), Moc (wood), Hoa (fire) and Tho (earth). All of the mountains have cave entrances and numerous tunnels. It is possible to climb to the summit of one of the peaks. Several buddhist sanctuaries can also be found within the mountains, making this a famous tourist destination. My sister and I visited this when we were younger and would climb the steps and be surprised by all these hidden buddhist temples, small and large. It really is a magical place. I would allocate at least a few hours to this site and go early as it gets hot and crowded as the day wears on.
The area is famous for stone sculpture making and stone-cutting crafts. This is where you can find high quality hand made marble objects from a small chess set to statues that weigh hundreds of pounds. I was able to get a gorgeous white marble buddha statue from this area. Remember to bargain well and your best bet is to go to actual workshops that are along the street near the area.
(239 Tran Phu street.)
If you need a different type of souvenir, visit Pheva Chocolate in DaNang. This store has hand made chocolate with Vietnamese cocoa packaged in innovative boxes. Check out their rubic cube package for their chocolates.
Phạm Văn Đồng Public Beach
Besides these two major sites located in Đà Nẵng, the other big attractions are the white sandy beaches. All the resorts have their own private beach. This particular public beach is popular with the locals.
The pool and beach at the Premier Village Danang Resort
This is a new 5 stars resort in Danang. What is great about this particular hotel is that for a small fee, you can use the pool and beach for the day. My family and I like to go here since we have houses in the city and this pool, with its own private beach, has all the luxury amenities that you will need for the day. I would recommend calling the resort and find out what the fees are since they change quite often.
Đà Nẵng is centrally located near other attractions that are a short car ride away.
Bà Nà Hills
This is about a 3o minute car ride from the city center. Bà Nà Hills used to be a French military station founded in 1919. It is considered the DaLat of Đà Nẵng for the cool temperature. This was where the French retreated to during the hot summers. The temperature can reach as low as the 50 degrees depending on the season.
We took the Bà Nà cable car, which holds the record for the longest non-stop single track cable car at 5801 meters in length up to the summit. There is an amusement park and resort at the summit. The view of the magnificent hills is worth the trip.
This is an ancient and well preserved city that showcases the architecture of the South-East Asian trading port dating from the 15th to the 19th century. It is gorgeous at night when all the street lights and numerous lanterns light up the sky. The city is very touristy but you can still appreciate the history and charm of the winding streets and wandering people. You can hire a small rowboat which will take you up and down the river for 1/2 an hour. You can float paper lanterns on the river as well.
Must Hang Out
Vietnam has a strong cafe culture from its history of French colonization. These cafes are the social center for the locals.
(402 – 404 Điện Biên Phủ str., Danang)
This is one of my favorite cafes in the city because it reminds me of being in a traditional house in the countryside of Vietnam. This is where my family often goes for breakfast. It’s hard not to laze the day away with delicious food and listening to birds chirping away in a beautifully curated garden filled with antiquities.
(96-98 Bạch Đằng, str., Danang)
This charming cafe is located along the Han River.
(7 Bạch Đằng str., Danang)
This is a popular music lounge that have live music nightly and a wonderful view of the river. The bridges in Đà Nẵng light up at night in various colors and this is one way to enjoy the view.
ON THE RADIO
(35 Thái Phiên str., Danang)
This is a lively pub with live music geared towards the younger crowd.
Seventeen Saloon Bar
(276 Trần Hưng Đạo Str., Danang)
This is a bar that has a live Filipino rock band.
OQ Beer Garden
(20 Bạch Đằng str., Danang)
This is another night spot that is located along the Han River. This beer garden features DJ music.
(35th & 36th Floor Rooftop, Novotel Danang Premier Han River, 36 Bạch Đằng str)
This is a posh rooftop bar located at the Novotel Hotel and has the distinction of being the highest bar in the city.
The Top Bar
(Võ Nguyên Giáp str., Danang)
This beachy bar is located on the 21st floor of the A La Carte Danang Beach Hotel. This is a wonderful spot to unwind at the end of the day.
The Long Bar at the Intercontinental Resort
(Bán đảo Sơn Trà, Danang)
There are numerous resorts and hotels ranging from a bed and breakfast to world class 5 stars institutions. My favorite place to stay is the Fusion Maia Da Nang. This hotel is a spa luxury villa resort. You get 2 spa services (included in the room price) a day per guest. The beach is private and the each villa has its own pool. We stayed at the pool villa for 2 people and also the delux 3 bedroom beach villa with our own access to the beach. It is really a great retreat if you want privacy and serenity. Look forward to our review of the hotel.
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Author: Amy Dao and Chau Hoang
Featured photo: Khanh Phuoc from Flickr.com